June 25, 2014 13:46 Age: 4 yrs

Strengthening a Team & Family: Developing Leaders at AF Endeavor Middle

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During a two-day Leadership Academy, AF Endeavor Middle parents, teachers and staff members engaged in discussions and activities to improve their school community. AF Endeavor Middle social worker Rebekah Adens and parent Tracylyn John-Howell reflect on their experience:

Why were you excited to participate in the Leadership Academy?

Rebekah: It was a way for me to better understand our families—the people who are supporting our students at home—and a way to better understand our students in general. I also truly think there is something sacred about learning and growing alongside another person. Developing my leadership skills with my students’ parents was the best of both worlds.

Tracylyn: I was excited to participate because AF Endeavor is the only school I have seen that really, truly cares about my kid. Getting to know teachers better makes it feel more like a family, and when teachers know parents better, they can also know the students better.

What was your favorite part of Leadership Academy?

Rebekah: During many of the activities, we shared some of our personal growth moments and the stories behind them, which was great because it helped me see another side to our parents. Although there was a lot of serious work being done, one of the best parts of the Academy was the music trivia game.

Tracylyn: I loved the whole thing. I know it might sound corny, but it really was perfect. The first day left me excited for the second day. The activities were fun and helped us learn more about each other, and we bonded over karaoke.

How have you changed since the Academy?

Rebekah: The hugs in the morning are longer and more heartfelt; the conversations in the afternoons are more detailed. I also noticed that the students I work with know I have a deeper connection to their parents and they trust me more and in a different way than they did before. I believe, even more than before, that this work starts and ends with relationships.

Tracylyn: For me, I was already communicating with teachers about my child, but this experience made it more intimate. Now I can hug my child’s teachers and really mean, “How are you?” It feels good to have that connection.

 

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